Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Lumisden, Andrew

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LUMISDEN or LUMSDEN, ANDREW (1720–1801), Jacobite, was the only son of William Lumisden (descended from the Lumsdens of Cushnie, Aberdeenshire), a law agent in Edinburgh, by Mary, daughter of Robert Bruce, merchant there. He was educated for his father's profession, which he followed until the rising in 1745, when, on the recommendation of Dr. Alexander Cunningham, a younger son of Sir William Cunningham of Caprington, Ayrshire, he became private secretary to Prince Charles Edward soon after the prince's arrival in Edinburgh. He accompanied the prince throughout the campaign, and was present at the final conflict at Culloden. On the eve of the battle the prince's aide-de-camp wrote, desiring Cluny Macpherson to ‘take care in particular of Lumisden and Sheridan, as they carry the sinews of war.’ After the battle Lumisden obeyed the order to rendezvous at Ruthven, where a message from Charles Edward on 17 April warned all to look after their own safety. He was included in the Act of Attainder, and, after skulking in the highland fastnesses for four months, ventured to Edinburgh disguised in a black wig, as the liveried groom of a lady who rode on a pillion behind him. After lurking in concealment in his father's house till October, he adopted the bold expedient of actually accompanying to London, in the character of a poor teacher, the king's messenger, who had been in Scotland citing witnesses for the treason trials. While in London he ventured to visit some of his former associates then in Newgate. At the end of the year he embarked at the Tower Stairs for Rouen. Here he lived for some time in great distress, until in May 1749 he obtained the first grant of an allowance made by the French court to the Spanish exiles.

Shortly afterwards he proceeded by Paris to Rome, where early in 1757 he was appointed under-secretary to the Chevalier de St. George, at a salary of 120 crowns, afterwards raised to two hundred crowns. In September 1762 he became principal and sole secretary, and he held that office till the death of the chevalier in January 1766. In 1758–1759 he undertook a secret mission to France, but apart from this his duties consisted in answering requests for honours, or appeals for help from supporters of the Stuart cause. He was continued in office by Charles Edward, who made use of him very much as a factotum. Ultimately, in December 1768, he was dismissed by Charles for refusing to allow him to attend an oratorio while stupidly intoxicated. Not long afterwards he declined an invitation to return. In the spring of 1769 he set out for Paris, and being now in the enjoyment of 200l. a year from the investments of his father's estate, he spent his leisure in literary pursuits. An influential petition having been presented in his favour on 15 Feb. 1773, he was allowed to return home, and five years later a free pardon was granted him. But although he occasionally visited Scotland, he continued for a considerable time to make Paris his head-quarters. In 1797 he published ‘Remarks on the Antiquities of Rome and its Environs,’ which was reprinted in 1812. He also compiled a pedigree of his family, which was published in Maidment's ‘Analecta Scotica,’ vol. ii. He died in Edinburgh on 25 Dec. 1801. ‘Persons still alive,’ says Sir W. Stirling Maxwell, ‘remember him as a lively, laughing old gentleman, with polished manners and stiff curls, an esteemed diner-out, a teller of pleasant anecdotes, and a maker of elaborate bows in foreign fashion’ (Works, vi. 165). His sister, Isabella, was the wife of Sir Robert Strange [q. v.] A medallion of Lumisden by Tassie is in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. It was engraved in stipple by W. Buchanan in Lumisden's ‘Remarks,’ and also in Denniston's ‘Memoirs.’

[Memoir of Sir Robert Strange, knt., and his Brother-in-law, Andrew Lumsden, by James Denniston, 2 vols. 1853; Memorials of the Families of Lumsdaine by Lieutenant-colonel H. W. Lumsden, 1887; Sir W. Stirling Maxwell's Works, vi. 160–5.]

T. F. H.